“Plugins Packs” : Presentation

This post is also available in: French

Some of you have been using them for a while now, haven’t you ? I hope so, for they can save you a lot of time in the monitoring installation, especially if you have a very mixed IT. Let’s talk about these plugin packs.

What is a plugin pack?

A plugin pack is a small specialised package that helps you install new checkpoints in your Centreon monitoring platform in an easy manner. The package which is actually an RPM includes :

  • ready-to-use plugins for the monitoring of a specific environment
  • monitoring templates for the plugin usage
  • a documentation that describes a few parameters that need to be filled so that the plugin can function

The aim of a plugin pack is to save time when deploying the monitoring. By installing the plugin pack, you ensure a set-up time record thanks to the packaging format.
On top of that, those plugin packs go under the validation process of Merethis, the plugins are therefore guaranteed to function properly with your templates. Merethis have a dedicated team that follow the evolution of monitored elements and a quality process for the validation of these packages.

Where do the plugins come from?

All plugins come from the experience gained by Merethis and its partners. For over 9 years, Merethis and their partners have guided and helped companies to implement Centreon in their IT with growing needs every day.

Every mission and every request is taken into account. Over the years, we made a complete list of needs from our clients and we are now responding to these demands.
We used to utilize the plugins found on NagiosExchange, which is now known as Monitoring-Exchange, but we always had quality issues with those; whether it was due to the lack of documentation or the integration itself. Moreover, the follow-up of the plugins on this platform is almost inexistent; you can easily tell just by looking at the plugin versions. I bet you also encountered these very issues. As a result, we had to developed new plugins in order to meet our clients’ expectations.

In order to improve the overall quality of our products, we brought a new base to make it easier for our users to utilize our plugins. We wrote the Centreon plugins 3.0 : a common core that enables a better structure of the plugin codes thus making them easier to maintain and to utilize. This base is written in perl. I suppose that you have read about it in this article.

Parts of our plugin packs are based upon this Open Source project which is available on our forge. Some other plugin packs are developed in Java or C/C++ for specific reasons : AS400 or WMI for example.

Examples ?

You can visit our complete catalog in the online documentation. This catalog is often updated as we release plugin packs very frequently.

For example, the monitoring of virtualization system: VMWare.
What does this plugin pack do ? It monitors ESX servers, virtual machines and the VCenter. You can monitor the CPU usage, memory, WAP, global health of hardware, global health of ESX, network traffic, the number of running VM and the statuses of datastores (IO, space, latency…). I’m not going to list all the available checkpoints, you may find all that in the catalog.

Roadmap

The next evolutions will enable us to combine plugin packs with network discovery rules. Ideally, the monitoring system should run on its own and add the checkpoints without even bothering the administrator. Of course, you would need to keep control over these rules and manage them in order to meet your needs.

We are still working to add new plugin packs. To name a few: Microsoft IIS, Microsoft Active Directory, Citrix, F5, Brocade, Bluemind, Cisco 2800, Cisco WAAS…

We might implement a plugin pack maker system on Centreon 3 so that everyone could contribute and provide their own plugin packs to a marketplace-like community.

We are aware that the community is very interested in such a feature and we’ll do our best to make it possible.

How to get the plugin packs ?

The plugin packs are available in the CES Advanced and CES Complete offers.
For more information, please contact the sales team: sales@merethis.com.

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